Covid-safe remembrance services taking place in South London

Covid-safe remembrance services taking place in South London

Remembrance Sunday in 2020 falls during a nationwide lockdown in England to control the spread of Covid-19, and many institutions said they would move services to remember the war dead online to lessen the risk of transmitting the virus.

Remembrance Sunday falls each year on the Sunday closest to November 11, the anniversary of the Armistice which marked the conclusion of fighting in the First World War on November 11, 1918.

As is typical, members of the British Royal Family, the government and the armed forces will attend the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in London today.

Rather than be joined by hundreds of attendees as usual, they will physically distance from one another and the ceremony at the Cenotaph will be closed to the public to make it Covid-secure.

Public services in the capital said they would observe Remembrance Sunday in their own capacities.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said they would “pause today at 11am to observe a two-minute silence where possible to remember and honour all those, including firefighters, who lost their lives during war,” with their colleagues in the Met Police adding:

“This year will be commemorated differently than in past years, but we still honour those who fought and died.

“Their service and sacrifice will always be remembered.”

Several borough councils in South London meanwhile announced their own Covid-secure services.

In Bromley, the Mayor, Councillor Hannah Gray, said she would attend a reduced ceremony at the Bromley War Memorial which will be filmed and available to view on the Council website.

The Mayor said: “I feel a great sadness that we cannot meet to commemorate the heroes of our uniformed forces on this important and poignant occasion and I know many of you will share my emotion.

“However, regardless of where we are at 11am on Remembrance Sunday, I know we will be united in our thoughts to honour those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“Parades will not take place this year as social distancing would not be possible, but some local organisers have explored alternative ways that the community can still pay tribute to our war heroes, without the need for a parade.

“It has been suggested, for instance, that we stand united on our doorsteps at that time to observe the two-minutes silence ‘together’ and I am sure many of you will want to do this,” she said.

Similar, smaller services of wreath-laying and remembrance are being held across South London, for example in Greenwich and Wandsworth, with many councils live-streaming the services online and via their facebook pages.

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